The tumblr companion to afroxander.com
contact: afroxander@gmail.com

One of my new favorite groups. I’ve been waiting for this album. There’s a soundcloud stream in the story.

Happy birthday to cartoonist Sergio Aragonés!

He was born in 1937 in Castellon, Spain but his family soon relocated to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War.  In Mexico, Sergio received his education, eventually studying Architecture at the University of Mexico, and also learning pantomime under the direction of Alexandro Jodorowsky.  But his heart was always in cartooning, a craft he discovered in the third grade, to the delight of his classmates and the annoyance of his instructors.  He contributed to school newspapers and anywhere else he could get his sketches printed and, at age 17, began selling professionally to a wide array of Mexican publications.  He maintained a weekly spot for over ten years in Mañana Magazine.

In 1962, he decided to try his luck in America, and arrived in New York with only twenty dollars and a folder bulging with his cartoon work.  At first, work was slow in coming and what he did sell didn’t pay very well, forcing him to work as a singer/poet in Greenwich Village restaurants and to pick up other odd jobs.  Things changed when he mustered the courage to approach the top market for silly pictures, Mad Magazine.  Embarrassed by his halting English, he went to their office and asked for Antonio Prohias, the Cuban refugee who drew their popular “Spy Vs. Spy” feature.  Sergio figured that Prohias could translate for him, but he figured wrong: Prohias, though thrilled to meet a fellow Hispanic cartoonist, spoke even less English than Sergio.  He did, however, introduce his new “brother” about, and the Mad editors liked what they saw.

Happy birthday to cartoonist Sergio Aragonés!

He was born in 1937 in Castellon, Spain but his family soon relocated to Mexico during the Spanish Civil War.  In Mexico, Sergio received his education, eventually studying Architecture at the University of Mexico, and also learning pantomime under the direction of Alexandro Jodorowsky.  But his heart was always in cartooning, a craft he discovered in the third grade, to the delight of his classmates and the annoyance of his instructors.  He contributed to school newspapers and anywhere else he could get his sketches printed and, at age 17, began selling professionally to a wide array of Mexican publications.  He maintained a weekly spot for over ten years in Mañana Magazine.

In 1962, he decided to try his luck in America, and arrived in New York with only twenty dollars and a folder bulging with his cartoon work.  At first, work was slow in coming and what he did sell didn’t pay very well, forcing him to work as a singer/poet in Greenwich Village restaurants and to pick up other odd jobs.  Things changed when he mustered the courage to approach the top market for silly pictures, Mad Magazine.  Embarrassed by his halting English, he went to their office and asked for Antonio Prohias, the Cuban refugee who drew their popular “Spy Vs. Spy” feature.  Sergio figured that Prohias could translate for him, but he figured wrong: Prohias, though thrilled to meet a fellow Hispanic cartoonist, spoke even less English than Sergio.  He did, however, introduce his new “brother” about, and the Mad editors liked what they saw.

The goal in a bull run is to create an encierro – a moving, human enclosure around the herd. This will keep the pack driving and protected. The elites run in front of the horns. Beginners should hope to run near the pack and feel all the raw glory of running with the bulls.

Bill Hillman

It’s been two years since I was at Pamplona. The San Fermines begin this weekend.

Schoolbooks tell us that the Spanish-American War began in April 1898 and ended in August of that same year. The name and dates fit nicely with a widespread inclination from President William McKinley’s day to our own to frame U.S. intervention in Cuba as an altruistic effort to liberate that island from Spanish oppression.

Yet the Cubans were not exactly bystanders in that drama. By 1898, they had been fighting for years to oust their colonial overlords. And although hostilities in Cuba itself ended on August 12th, they dragged on in the Philippines, another Spanish colony that the United States had seized for reasons only remotely related to liberating Cubans. Notably, U.S. troops occupying the Philippines waged a brutal war not against Spaniards but against Filipino nationalists no more inclined to accept colonial rule by Washington than by Madrid. So widen the aperture to include this Cuban prelude and the Filipino postlude and you end up with something like this: The Spanish-American-Cuban-Philippines War of 1895-1902. Too clunky? How about the War for the American Empire? This much is for sure: rather than illuminating, the commonplace textbook descriptor serves chiefly to conceal.

—Andrew Bacevich, Naming Our Nameless War

I miss Spain

nborloff:

Propaganda posters from the Spanish Civil War.